Candice’s short story Desperate Measures is set in 1810.
Government, Politics, and War:
- January 6: Treaty of Paris ends the war between France and Sweden.
- March 4: The French Army, under the command of André Masséna, retreats from Portugal.
- March 20: Venezuela achieves home rule: Vicente Emparán, Governor of the Captaincy General, is removed by the people of Caracas and a junta is installed.
- April: Rioting occurs in London after the imprisonment of Sir Francis Burdett, MP, who is charged with libel against Parliament after calling for reform of the House of Commons.
- April 26: The Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo begins. The Spanish garrison is besieged by French forces.
- May 18-25: In the May Revolution, Armed citizens of Buenos Aires expel the Viceroy from Spain, declare their independence, and establish a provincial government for Argentina.
- July9: The Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo end in a French victory.
- July 9: Napoleon annexes the Kingdom of Holland following the abdication and flight of his brother Louis Bonaparte, who has been king since 1806 but refused to join the emperor’s Continental System.
- July 20: Columbia declares independence from Spain.
- July 25: The Siege of Almeida begins as the French lay siege to British and Portuguese forces.
- August 20: The French are victorious over the British fleet at the Battle of Grand Port at Mauritius.
- August 21: Napoleonic general Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte is elected as Crown Prince of Sweden.
- August 27: Siege of Almeida ends with a French victory.
- September 18: Chile declares independence from Spain.
- September 27: Wellington’s Anglo-Portuguese Army is victorious over the French at the Battle of Bussaco.
- October: Wellington prevents French forces under Marshall Masséna from capturing Lisbon by staging a successful rearguard action at the Lines of Torres Vedras.
- November 17: Sweden declares war on the United Kingdom.
- December: The HMS Minotaur, a 74-gun ship of the line, strikes a bank and goes down off the coast of the Netherlands. 480 crew members are lost.
Society and Social History:
- Sake Dean Mahomet opens the Hindoostanee Coffee House, the first Indian restaurant in London.
- January 12: Based on a minor technicality, the marriage of Napoleon and Joséphine is annulled. Though he claims to still love her, he needs an heir and she has not been able to produce one.
- March 11: Napoleon marries Archduchess Marie Louisa of Austria, daughter of Austrian emperor Francis I.
- May 3: While on his Grand Tour, 22-year old Lord Byron swims across the Hellespont (Dardanelles) in a romantic imitation of the mythical Leander, who swam the mile and a half each night to be with his lover, Hero.
- September: A disagreement over troop deployment between George Canning, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and Lord Castlereagh, the Secretary of State for War, ultimately leads to a duel. Canning, who had never fired a pistol, misses; Castlereagh wounds him in the thigh.
- October 12: First Oktoberfest is held when the Bavarian royalty invites the citizens of Munich to join the celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.
- November 2: The death of Princess Amelia sends George III into another bout of mental illness.
- December: English prizefighter Tom Cribb defends his world bareknuckle championship at Copthall Common, in Sussex, against American-born ex-slave Tom Molineaux, drawing over 10,000 spectators. Cribb is declared the winner after 34 rounds.
Literature, Journalism, and Publishing:
- Walter Scott’s narrative poem, The Lady of the Lake, is published.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe publishes his Theory of Colours.
Art, Architecture, and Design:
- The famous Portland Vase is given to the British Museum, on permanent loan from the Duke of Portland. (It will be purchased by the museum in 1945.)
- Francisco Goya begins the Disasters of War series, 82 prints that will be published over the next 10 years. The series title is not Goya’s. His handwritten title on an album of proofs reads: “Fatal consequences of Spain’s bloody war with Bonaparte, and other emphatic caprices.”
- January: British portrait painter John Hoppner dies at age 51.
- November 11: Painter Johann Zoffany dies at age 77. The German-born artist had spent most of his career in England.
- Gioacchino Rossini composes the one-act opera La Cambiale di Matrimonio.
- April 27: Beethoven composes “Für Elise” (Bagatelle in A minor).
Natural History and Exploration:
- January 4: Australian seal hunter Frederick Hasselborough discovers Campbell Island in the sub-antarctic.
- July 11: Frederick Hasselborough discovers Macquarie Island in the sub-Antarctic.